Water samples were collected at 15 min intervals over 11 tidal cycles from a tidal creek draining the mangrove-covered basin of Tuff Crater, Auckland, New Zealand. The samples were filtered and total suspended sediment (TSS), inorganic suspended sediment (ISS) and organic suspended sediment (OSS) were determined. Variation in TSS was high, the concentration varied over a tidal cycle and during over-bank flows concentrations were lowest at or near slack high water. Covariance between TSS concentrations and velocity and discharge meant that the calculation of particulate matter flux over tidal hemicycles was particularly dependent on the method of estimating tidal flux. The hypsometrically-based volumetric method was found to be inappropriate, predicting a positive budget (import) more often than observed. Instead particulate matter budgets were calculated by means of the velocity-area method and indicate a net export of TSS, ISS and OSS. Floating macrodetritus was observed on both the flood and ebb tides, but a net export was found on the two tides monitored. It is considered that on an annual basis floating macrodetritus export accounts for less than 2% of the detrital production in the basin, and organic suspended sediment export from the basin is less than 3 kg C ha-1 day-1 and is below the rate of detrital production. It is implied that a proportion of the organic detritus produced in this basin is degraded and recycled in situ. © 1985.